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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Holy Smokes! It's a digital dandelion! Sex with Data and other Gems from Content Marketing World

It was an intense first day at Content Marketing World. The following is a list of my highlights but it's impossible to capture them all. So much awesome content, you really need to be here.

What you do with your data is up to you
Mitch Joel kicked it off with what is likely to be one of the most memorable quotes of #CMWorld -- "...sex with data..." My English professors always said use your words to paint a mental picture. He definitely did. He urged marketers (and face it, everyone of us is a marketer in today's world) to follow five content rules: build direct relationships with your audience; have sex with (customer) data, meaning fully embrace the capabilities behind it, use it, don't just quote it; provide utility, be useful; know the difference behind passive and active activities (asking a passive audience in a passive medium to do something is difficult at best); and know we're not part of a one screen world anymore -- create content accordingly. I also learned that Willie Nelson does a pretty fantastic job singing/covering Coldplay. Whodathunkit?

Next up (for me anyway) was Jason Falls. (Sorry C.C., breaks my heart I had to choose.) So many valuable lessons but the one that sticks with me is that we all need to create "Holy Smokes" content. It can be funny, irreverent, knowledgeable, thought provoking, controversial That's where the magic is. No one shares okay. No one forwards fine.

Mitch Joel shared earlier in the day that video use for content marketing had increased from 52% to 70% over the past year so I made sure I took in the next session with Todd Wheatland. He had a lot of excellent ideas on how to use video for your organization including repurposing an article; creating a series; doing a behind the scenes; and/or a recruitment video. But the fun doesn't stop there. He suggested you use stills from the video or take some pictures while you're shooting and use them in addition to your video plus don't forget to transcribe it for the .02% who can still read. (That was my own personal bitterness as a writer, not his.)

The fantastic Jay Baer (to stand room only) reminded us that we should think of our content as a digital dandelion. Don't keep it tied to your website. Put it out where your audience is most likely to see it. On a completely different metaphor he likened content to fire and social media to gasoline. Get it? Burn, baby, burn.

Russell Sparkman helped us understand that game thinking is not the same as gaming. You can give your audience the fun of game theory and implementation without requiring them to sit in the same clothes for days staring at a console trying to beat someone else's score (unless they're into that). He also pointed out that game thinking is not new just ask a kid trying to pass math -- the concept of levelling up to advance has been around a long time.

Sam Sebastian rounded out the day with talking about "Zero Moment of Truth." Research has changed buyers forever. We're no longer relegated to using (just) consumer reports. We have reviews and search. Plus 16% of searches are new to Google each day. It also struck me that Sam's dad still has Consumer Reports magazine in the basement. Living in Florida for the past seven years I had almost forgotten what basements were.

Day 1 was amazing and I'm suffering a little from cerebral overload. The Rick Springfield concert should cure that. I will be adding his song Love Somebody to Groove Shark later tonight. I forgot how much I liked it.

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